Can a contractor write its own scope of work?
The government is responsible for defining what our requirements are for supplies and/or services. However, how those requirements are then written and included in a specific contract can occur in a number of ways. See FAR part 11 and DFARS subpart 211 regarding basic policies and procedures for describing agency needs. Once a need is identified, the government (requiring activity) can either prepare and provide to the prospective contractor(s) in the solicitation a requirement that has already been described in a Statement of Work/Performance Work Statement or a Statement of Objectives. Both are defined in FAR 2.101.
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As you can see, the primary difference is that a SOO states the overall performance objectives and allows prospecitve contractor(s) to propose the detailed SOW/PWS in accordance with those objectives. However, that is different from allowing the contractor to determine the scope of the government requirement. Either way, whether a SOW or PWS are given, or a SOO is provided and offerors are required to develop the SOW/PWS as part of their proposal, it should all be a topic of either discussions (in a competitive environment) or negotiations (in a sole source environment) since it will be the cornerstone of the contract we are preparing to enter into.